One of the great joys of film history that the 1001 has opened my eyes too is silent film. Watching the literal birth of the art is always amazing. Don’t get me wrong there are just as many rubbish silents as sound films, but some of the greatest comedies, horror flicks, westerns and drama films are from the silent era.
This week on the blog I will be exploring the varied wonders of silent film, along with a killer contribution from a guest blogger. There will hopefully be a little something for everyone as the week will cover a range of genres, shorts and features and even a sound film. The gameplan is to have 7 posts in all (though a few haven’t been written yet so don’t hold me to that.
Thanks to Madman Entertainment I will be running a comp all week, so get involved for your chance to win a copy of Buster Keaton’s iconic The General. You can earn entries in the following ways fine people:
- ‘Like’ the post on Facebook for one entry.
- Comment on the post on Facebook for two entries.
- Share the post on Facebook for two entries.
- Like the post on this site for one entry.
- Comment on the post on this site for two entries.
There will be double entries for The General review that will be up on Saturday and entries will remain open until midnight on Thursday 18 April (Australian time). If you have any questions about the competition, ask me in the comments section or fire and email to email@example.com.
To kick things off, let me know in the comments section what your favourite silent film is and why.
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The Last Laugh is probably my fav silent film. I’m not sure what it is about it but there’s just something about the visuals and the way it looks that just blew me away for a silent film. I haven’t seen many but you’re totally right, there are a LOT of bad ones.
Cheers for commenting man. I must admit I had never heard of The Last Laugh until you mentioned it. Just read some stuff about it and it sounds amazing. Will definitely be checking that one out.
The original Phantom of the opera is still the favourite, fantastic film
Yeah right on, that is a very cool film. I love the Chaney family.
The Passion of Joan of Arc and Metropolis are my two favorites.
I shamefully still have not seen The Passion of Joan of Arc. Metropolis is a pretty amazing film. And is also one of the great ‘lost film’ stories from film history I think.
I can honestly say I’m a silent film virgin – but I need to get on this! I’ve got a question -what’s the best silent film to start with?
Thanks for commenting!
In terms of features, I think the best film to start with is Buster Keaton’s The General. It is simultaneously one of the greatest comedies, war films and stunt films ever made (a pretty decent love story too).
Later in the week I will be including some pretty exceptional short films that you should check out. Shorts are an easy way to get into silent films.
For other shorts, there are a couple of Buster Keaton’s shorts I have posted previously that you should definitely take a look at. Try The Scarecrow first, which you can dins here: https://drinkingbeerwatchingmovie.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/woodley-week-buster-and-frank/ and if you like that move on to the Butcher Boy (also featuring Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle) which is here: https://drinkingbeerwatchingmovie.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/worth-watching-april-2012/
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply Tim! I’ll definitely check them out. Ill start with a short for sure…
And ill be sure to let you know what I think!
Cool, definitely start with The Scarecrow. Even if you don’t like the film, it has Luke, the most adorable dog in film history in it.
Sold! To the lady who’s a sucker for cute dogs!!
I think I’m torn between Metropolis and several of Méliès’ films!
Metropolis is pretty phenomenal for sure. I need to see more of Melies. I have seen a fair few, but there are heaps more. I also love jumping on youtube sometimes to look at the films of the Lumiere brothers. Tis incredible to think how far film has come.